Of course, this title is incredibly tongue-in-cheek as our sommeliers are nothing but professional perfectionists, however Bea tells her story as she was asked to fly out to Italy for the annual Oenologica Contest Douja d’Or.
I was invited to take part in the National 47th Oenologica Contest Douja d’Or in Asti, Piedmont, and I have just arrived back to the Club after a fantastic few days.
Every year, the Italian government approve the wines that have applied for the Quality wine Appellations, especially D.O.C. (Denomination of Controlled Origin) and D.O.C.G. (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin). This contest, established 47 years ago in Asti from the Italian professional Association of all Oenologists, lasts three days and consists of checking the quality of the wines, and reward wines of excellence and superb terroir expression related to the appellation they are representing.
There were roughly 50 judges, mostly oenologist, with three additional Associations of wine professionals involved: O.N.A.V. (Professional Tasters), A.I.S. and A.S.P.I (Sommeliers). We blind tasted more than 700 wines over the course of the three days – a real sommelier challenge…
We were treated to lunch and dinner every day in outstanding restaurants in Asti, and as well as these incredible dining experiences we had the privilege of visiting the famous Crypt in the town, among various wineries in Barbaresco/ Monferrato areas to include one of the top producers of the red native Ruché, the Montalbera winery.
I thoroughly enjoyed these three days, where I could speak with professionals to include Oenologists coming from all corners of my home country, bringing with them many many years of experience. Together, we could discuss what defines a ‘typical’ wine from a certain appellation. I cannot deny than in certain tables the discussions were a little more animated, but that is certainly part of the fun. We all had the common goal of scoring all the wines fairly and awarding the truly deserving producers. A truly eye-opening experience.